Aaron Hughes

Aaron Hughes

Organizer & Center for Artistic Activism Alumnus

On January 30, 2003 Aaron was pulled out of the University of Illinois and called to active duty with the 1244th Transportation Company Army National Guard out of North Riverside, Illinois. On April 17, 2003 his Company was deployed to Kuwait under Operation Iraqi Freedom. There he supported combat operations by transporting supplies from camps and ports in Kuwait to camps in Iraq. After three extensions, totaling one year, three months and seven days, Aaron’s Company was redeployed to home base in North Riverside Illinois on July 24, 2004. Aaron returned to the University of Illinois in the spring of 2005 as a student majoring in painting with the need to express and share his experiences with others and began to use art as a tool to confront issues of militarism and occupation. Aaron went on to receive an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University in 2009. Today Aaron is the Organizing Team Leader for Iraq Veterans Against the War where he has worked on such projects as Warrior Writers, Combat Paper, Drawing For Peace, Operation First Casualty, Winter Soldier, the Demilitarized University, the Field Organizing Program, and Operation Recovery. (He’s also an alumni of Center for Artistic Activism programs.)